The New England Patriots have lost another player prior to the start of the 2020 season. This departure wasn’t due to an opt-out related to the COVID-19 pandemic, rather it was an early retirement from one of the team’s newest additions.
The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride reported that 2020 seventh-round pick Dustin Woodard announced his retirement from the NFL, citing that the pandemic had nothing to do with his decision.
Woodard spent four years as a Memphis Tiger, starting 52 games at all three interior offensive line positions over that span.
While the 22-year-old would’ve had to prove he was worth a spot on the final roster, the Patriots depth at the center position is certainly lacking. At the very least, he could’ve found his way onto the practice squad and potentially earned a spot in the future.
Now, New England’s backup center spot is up in the air.
They signed Tyler Gauthier earlier this week who spent some time on the Patriots’ practice squad last season. If they need to find someone to fill that role there are plenty of free agents still available including veterans A.Q. Shipley and Daniel Kilgore. Former Patriots Jon Halapio and James Ferentz are still on the market as well.
With David Andrews’ health still at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the Patriots would be smart to bring in some more competition for his backup.